Mimetic Quotes

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#1. This is the fiction that I'm referring to as rhapsody, this stitching of mimetic representation, oneiric imagery, ludic rules, allegoric morals, satiric critique and diegetic story into complex quiltings of narrative. - Author: Hal Duncan
Mimetic quotes by Hal Duncan
#2. Mimetic theory explains the presence of disabilities and infirmities in a great many mythical stories. When there is no ground for making a victim of someone - because he isn't guilty of anything - people act as children do and make a scapegoat of someone who is physically unattractive, or who is an outsider. The number of outsiders in myths is quite extraordinary. And why are so many victims lame? My work is scientific because it tries to solve the puzzle constituted by these clues, to explain why outsiders, many of them handicapped, are made into victims and forcibly expelled from a community. The burden falls on anyone who doubts my theory to supply a better explanation, or else to adopt mine for want of a more satisfactory one. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#3. Why does Jesus regard the Father and himself as the best model for all humans? Because neither the Father nor the Son desires greedily, egotistically. God "makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and he sends his rain on the just and on the unjust." God gives to us without counting, without marking the least difference between us. He lets the weeds grow with the wheat until the time of harvest. If we imitate the detached generosity of God, then the trap of mimetic rivalries will never close over us. This is why Jesus says also, "Ask, and it will be given to you ... " When Jesus declares that he does not abolish the Law but fulfills it, he articulates a logical consequence of his teaching. The goal of the Law is peace among humankind. Jesus never scorns the Law, even when it takes the form of prohibitions. Unlike modern thinkers, he knows quite well that to avoid conflicts, it is necessary to begin with prohibitions. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#4. Those words ... national and portrait. They were both to do with identity: the identity of a culture (place, language and history), the identity of an individual human being as an object for mimetic representation. - Author: A.S. Byatt
Mimetic quotes by A.S. Byatt
#5. Imitation is human intelligence in its most dynamic aspect. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#6. Imagination is not, as some poets have thought, simply synonymous with good. It may be either good or evil. As long as art remained primarily mimetic, the evil which imagination could do was limited by nature. Again, as long as it was treated as an amusement, the evil which it could do was limited in scope. But in an age when the connection between imagination and figuration is beginning to be dimly realized, when the fact of the directionally creator relation is beginning to break through into consciousness, both the good and the evil latent in the working of imagination begin to appear unlimited. We have seen in the Romantic movement an instance of the way in which the making of images may react upon the collective representations. It is a fairly rudimentary instance, but even so it has already gone beyond the dreams and responses of a leisured few. The economic and social structure of Switzerland is noticeably affected by its tourist industry, and that is due only in part to increased facilities of travel. It is due not less to the condition that (whatever may be said about their 'particles') the mountains which twentieth-century man sees are not the mountains which eighteenth-century man saw.

It may be objected that this is a very small matter, and that it will be a long time before the imagination of man substantially alters those appearances of nature with which his figuration supplies him. But then I am taking the long view. Even so, we need not be too confi - Author: Owen Barfield
Mimetic quotes by Owen Barfield
#7. For those whose ganglia were formed pre-TV, the mimetic deployment of pop-culture icons seems at best an annoying tic and at worst a dangerous vapidity that compromises fiction's seriousness by dating it out of the Platonic Always, where it ought to reside. - Author: Jonathan Lethem
Mimetic quotes by Jonathan Lethem
#8. In practically every film you experience, you can see the director following the text. Illustrating the words first, making the pictures after, and, alas, so often not making pictures at all, but holding up the camera to do its mimetic worst. - Author: Peter Greenaway
Mimetic quotes by Peter Greenaway
#9. The man who would have no imitators had legions of them, each infected with the mimetic dilemma that Rousseau personified: how to get others to notice how disinterested one is in whether they notice or not. - Author: Paul C. Vitz
Mimetic quotes by Paul C. Vitz
#10. The design of the building addresses the public nature of both the urban context and the internal program. In order to reinforce the building's associative or mimetic qualities, the facades are organized in a classical three-part division of base, middle or body, and attic or head. - Author: Michael Graves
Mimetic quotes by Michael Graves
#11. No culture exists within which everyone does not feel "different" from others and does not consider such "differences" to be legitimate and necessary. Far from being radical and progressive, the current glorification of difference is merely the abstract expression of an attitude common to all cultures. There exists in every individual a tendency to think of himself not only as different from others but as extremely different, because every culture entertains this feeling of difference among the individuals who compose it. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#12. Cat Rambo: Where do you think the perennial debate between what is literary fiction and what is genre is sited?

Norman Spinrad: I think it's a load of crap. See my latest column in Asimov's, particularly re The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I detest the whole concept of genre. A piece of fiction is either a good story well told or it isn't. The supposed dichotomy between "literary fiction" and "popular fiction" is ridiculous. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Mailer, did not have serious literary intent? As writers of serious literary intent, they didn't want to be "popular," meaning sell a lot of books? They wanted to be unpopular and have terrible sales figures to prove they were "serious"?

I say this is bullshit and I say the hell with it. "Genre," if it means anything at all, is a restrictive commercial requirement. "Westerns" must be set in the Old West. "Mysteries" must have a detective solving a crime, usually murder. "Nurse Novels" must have a nurse. And so forth.

In the strictly literary sense, neither science fiction nor fantasy are "genres." They are anti-genres. They can be set anywhere and anywhen except in the mimetic here and now or a real historical period. They are the liberation of fiction from the constraints of "genre" in an absolute literary sense. - Author: Norman Spinrad
Mimetic quotes by Norman Spinrad
#13. If we choose Jesus as our model, we simultaneously choose his own model, God the Father. Having no appropriative desire, Jesus proclaims the possibility of freedom from scandal. But if we choose possessive models we find ourselves in endless scandals, for our real model is Satan. A seductive tempter who suggests to us the desires most likely to generate rivalries, Satan prevents us from reaching whatever he simultaneously incites us to desire. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#14. We can understand why one of the titles given to Jesus is that of 'prophet.' Jesus is the last and greatest of the prophets, the one who sums them up and goes further than all of them. He is the prophet of the last, but also of the best, chance. With him there takes place a shift that is both tiny and gigantic – a shift that follows on directly from the Old Testament but constitutes a decisive break as well. This is the complete elimination of the sacrificial for the first time – the end of divine violence and the explicit revelation of all that has gone before. It calls for a complete change of emphasis and a spiritual metamorphosis without precedent in the whole history of mankind. It also amounts to an absolute simplification of the relations between human beings, in so far as all the false differences between doubles are annulled – a simplification in the sense in which we speak of an algebraic simplification.
Throughout the texts of the Old Testament it was impossible to conclude the deconstruction of myths, rituals and law since the plenary revelation of the founding murder had not yet taken place. The divinity may be to some extent stripped of violence, but not completely so. That is why there is still an indeterminate and indistinct future, in which the resolution of the problem by human means alone – the face-to-face reconciliation that ought to result when people are alerted to the stupidity and uselessness of symmetrical violence – remains confused to a certai - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#15. In the "Republic," Plato vigorously attacked the oral, poetized form as a vehicle for communicating knowledge. He pleaded for a more precise method of communication and classification ("The Ideas"), one which would favor the investigation of facts, principles of reality, human nature, and conduct. What the Greeks meant by "poetry" was radically different from what we mean by poetry. Their "poetic" expression was a product of a collective psyche and mind. The mimetic form, a technique that exploited rhythm, meter and music, achieved the desired psychological response in the listener. Listeners could memorize with greater ease what was sung than what was said. Plato attacked this method because it discouraged disputation and argument. It was in his opinion the chief obstacle to abstract, speculative reasoning - he called it "a poison, and an enemy of the people. - Author: Marshall McLuhan
Mimetic quotes by Marshall McLuhan
#16. The most powerful anti-Christian movement is the one that takes over and "radicalizes" the concern for victims in order to paganize it. The powers and principalities want to be "revolutionary" now, and they reproach Christianity for not defending victims with enough ardor. In Christian history they see nothing but persecutions, acts of oppression, inquisitions.

This other totalitarianism presents itself as the liberator of humanity. In trying to usurp the place of Christ, the powers imitate him in the way a mimetic rival imitates his model in order to defeat him. They denounce the Christian concern for victims as hypocritical and a pale imitation of the authentic crusade against oppression and persecution for which they would carry the banner themselves. In the symbolic language of the New Testament, we would say that in our world Satan, trying to make a new start and gain new triumphs, borrows the language of victims.


The Antichrist boasts of bringing to human beings the peace and tolerance that Christianity promised but has failed to deliver. Actually, what the radicalization of contemporary victimology produces is a return to all sorts of pagan practices: abortion, euthanasia, sexual undifferentiation, Roman circus games galore but without real victims, etc.

Neo-paganism would like to turn the Ten Commandments and all of Judeo-Christian morality into some alleged intolerable violence, and indeed its primary objective is their - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#17. It is not difference that dominates the world, but the obliteration of difference by mimetic reciprocity, which itself, being truly universal, shows the relativism of perpetual difference to be an illusion. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#18. The mimetic nature of desire accounts for the fragility of human relations. Our social sciences should give due consideration to a phenomenon that must be considered normal, but they persist in seeing conflict as something accidental, and consequently so unforeseeable that researchers cannot and must not take it into account in their study of culture. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#19. The resistance to the mimetic contagion prevents the myth from taking shape. The conclusion in the light of the Gospels is inescapable: myths are the voice of communities that unanimously surrender to the mimetic contagion of victimization. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#20. I have never written a book that I wouldn't want to read. The trouble is, I love to read horror, sf, fantasy, mysteries, hero pulps - romantic fiction, in the original, traditional meaning of that term, as opposed to mimetic fiction. But most of all, I love thrillers. - Author: F. Paul Wilson
Mimetic quotes by F. Paul Wilson
#21. More and more, it seems to me, modern individualism assumes the form of a desperate denial of the fact that, through mimetic desire, each of us seeks to impose his will upon his fellow man, whom he - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#22. There is no reason to assume that gender also ought to remain as two. The presumption of a binary gender system implicitly retains the belief in a mimetic relation of gender to sex whereby gender mirrors sex or is otherwise restricted by it. - Author: Judith Butler
Mimetic quotes by Judith Butler
#23. He always believed he loved his daughter, but the fear of rabies obliged the Marquis to admit to himself that this was a lie for the sake of convenience. Bernarda, on the other hand, did not even ask herself the question, for she knew very well she did not love the girl and the girl did not love her, and both things seemed fitting. A good part of the hatred each of them felt for Sierva Maria was caused by the other's qualities in her. - Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Mimetic quotes by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
#24. Wheelchair-accessible front ramp, take a bit of getting used to, and some like the engineer never do get comfortable with them and use the less garish auditory side-doors; and the abundant sulcus-fissures and gyrus-bulges of the slick latex roof make rain-drainage complex and footing chancy at best, so there's not a whole lot of recreational strolling up here, although a kind of safety-balcony of skull-colored polybutylene resin, which curves around the midbrain from the inferior frontal sulcus to the parietooccipital sulcus - a halo-ish ring at the level of like eaves, demanded by the Cambridge Fire Dept. over the heated pro-mimetic protests of topological Rickeyites over in the Architecture Dept. (which the M.I.T. administration, trying to placate Rickeyites and C.F.D. Fire Marshal both, had had the pre-molded resin injected with dyes to render it the distinctively icky brown-shot off-white of living skull, so that the balcony resembles at once corporeal bone and - Author: David Foster Wallace
Mimetic quotes by David Foster Wallace
#25. Passive, submissive imitation does exist, but hatred of conformity and extreme individualism are no less imitative. Today they constitute a negative conformism that is more formidable than the positive version. More and more, it seems to me, modern individualism assumes the form of a desperate denial of the fact that, through mimetic desire, each of us seeks to impose his will upon his fellow man, whom he professes to love but more often despises. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#26. The commandment to imitate Jesus does not appear suddenly in a world exempt from imitation; rather it is addressed to everyone that mimetic rivalry has affected. Non-Christians imagine that to be converted they must renounce an autonomy that all people possess naturally, a freedom and independence that Jesus would like to take away from them. In reality, once we imitate Jesus, we discover that our aspiration to autonomy has always made us bow down before individuals who may not be worse than we are but who are nonetheless bad models because we cannot imitate them without falling with them into the trap of rivalries in which we are ensnarled more and more. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#27. There is nothing in the Gospels to suggest that God causes the mob to come together against Jesus. Violent contagion is enough. Those responsible for the Passion are the human participants them-selves, incapable of resisting the violent contagion that affects them all when a mimetic snowballing1 comes within their range, or rather when they come within the range of this snowballing and are swept along by it. We don't have to invoke the supernatural to explicate this. The war of all against all that transforms communities into a war of all against one that gathers and unifies them is not limited solely to the case of Jesus. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#28. Jesus transcends the Law, but in the Law's own sense and direction. He does this by appealing to the most humane aspect of the legal prescription, the aspect most foreign to the contagion of violence, which is the obligation of the two accusers to throw the first two stones. The Law deprives the accusers of a mimetic model. Once - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard
#29. So long as globalization was slow in coming, everyone hoped and prayed that it would come soon. The unity of the world's nations was one of the great triumphalist themes of modernism. World's fairs were staged in its honor, one after another. Now that globalization is here, however, it arouses more anxiety than pride. The erasing of differences may not portend the era of universal reconciliation that everyone confidently expected. - Author: Rene Girard
Mimetic quotes by Rene Girard

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